Visiting the supermarket can be a great way to catch a glimpse of the food world of any country you are stopping in. What to a local is an everyday food item is to a traveller a piece of the food culture puzzle. This becomes even more apparent when it relates to public holidays.
Visit a British supermarket in the run-up to Easter and you are bound to see shelves upon shelves of chocolate eggs. From tiny ones to huge ones, every flavour and every brand seem to be represented, but how did they get there?
The egg has long been a symbol of rebirth and fertility. In 1307, the household accounts of Edward I even included an entry for 459 eggs that after boiling, dying or being covered in gold leaf were to be distributed to the royal household.
In the 19th century chocolate eggs were first developed in France and Germany when a blend of chocolate that could be shaped was created, and John Cadbury made his first solid Easter eggs in England in 1843. It wasn’t until much later when the process was refined resulting in a finer chocolate that was easy to melt and mould, that the first Cadbury Easter egg, as we now know it, was born in 1875.
Nowadays, the humble chocolate Easter egg has moved on from a smooth plain chocolate egg filled with dragees to become chocolate shaped into anything and everything (including pink pigs!).